Film

Kǒng bù fèn zǐ

(The Terrorizers)

A Journey in the Festival’s History

Taiwan  ·  1986  ·  HD  ·  Color  ·  109'  ·  o.v. Chinese

Chosen by Eric Baudelaire.
On Demand

5-15 | 8 | 2020

Disponibile in Svizzera – Available in Switzerland


On Demand

5-15 | 8 | 2020

Available on MUBI for the international audience: film availability varies depending on your location

In Taipei, the marital crisis between an emotionally stunted writer and a careerist doctor is mysteriously intertwined with the story of a photographer and a petty criminal. Police cars speed through the streets of the metropolis, helpless witnesses to new and violent social contradictions. The most enigmatic and troubling film by Edward Yang, a master of the Taiwanese New Wave, it won the Pardo d’argento in 1987 and is a skillful non-linear mosaic of the atomization of relationships brought about by late-capitalist culture, starting from the perception of urban space. In the age of globalization, life is a deception that confuses victims and executioners.

Selected by Eric Baudelaire
Director of A Flower in the Mouth​​​​​​​


The Terrorizers (1986), by Edward Yang, ends with a woman turning away from her bed companion and vomiting. Not quite, actually: the credits roll before any vomit appears – just the retching sound, and then the credits. It is one of my favorite film endings. It is also one of my favorite titles (especially its mysterious plural, because not all the protagonists in the film fit under the category of terrorizer). The film is a non-linear, fragmented self-portrait of the artist projected onto the landscape of Taipei — the artist as novelist searching for her voice, as photographer stalking a reluctant muse, as adolescent girl honing her skills as a scam artist. These and other characters leap into simple, essential, often frontal shots of city streets and buildings, forming a narrative and architectural mosaic that is both splendidly poetic and politically acute. Few films create their own unique worlds with such an economy of means: a way of framing, a few very spare and unique personal misadventures, and a nod to various codes and genres (the police thriller, the romantic drama, the “Roman photo”).  There are films you watch and never forget. This one’s strength somehow works the opposite way for me: I forget all of its details every time I see it, I just remember how much I liked it. When I see it again, all the pleasure of discovering it remains intact: an ode to complex simplicity.

– Eric Baudelaire

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Information

Director

Edward Yang

Cast

Cora Miao, Li-Chun Lee, Shih-Chieh King, Pao-Ming Ku, Ming Liu

Producer

Teng-Fei Lin, Chi-Pin Chao

Executive producer

Raymond Chow

Cinematography

Chan Chang

Music

Xiaoliang Weng

Screenplay

Hsiao-Yeh, Edward Yang

Editing

Ching-Sung Liao

Production

Central Motion Pictures

World Sales

CMC Entertainment

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